what i watched last week
prince at the stone

mildred pierce

Just a quick comment after watching the first two of five parts … I’ll save the rest until the series ends.

It is very hard to ascertain whether it is the directing, the writing, or the acting, but the character of Veda in this version is almost bad enough for me to quit watching, despite the fact that I like the rest of what I’ve seen so far. Knowing that a different actress will play the character in the final episodes gives me some hope, but so far, the conception of Veda is misguided at best. Perhaps it’s inherent in the novel, but it’s bad. You can never decide if you hate Veda because you are supposed to, or because the dialogue and acting are so awful. (And I can’t really blame the young actress, who seems to have been given an impossible task.)

One more thing, that relates to what I said yesterday about another show. I love Kate Winslet, and she’s excellent once again in Mildred Pierce. I don’t know how Emmy categories are drawn up … I feel like they change every year … but there is a lot of Emmy talk about Winslet’s performance, and it is warranted. But if she ends up in the same category as Emmy Rossum in Shameless, Winslet is second-best.

Finally, I have to pass this along, even though I suspect it’s a prank. Veda is played in the early episodes by 11-year-old Morgan Turner, and then in the later episodes by 23-year-old Evan Rachel Wood. Wood has noted in the publicity for the series that she was worried about doing a full-frontal nude scene until she talked to Winslet, who has done more than her share of them over the years. Kate told Evan not to worry … eventually, the only real problem was that Wood had to wear a merkin, since they apparently didn’t have Brazilian wax jobs back in the day.

Anyway, someone in the comments section at Salon seems to have confused the two actresses:

So the 11 year old daughter is doing a nude scene with a full pubic "merkin". Is this really artistically necessary to the plot of the movie? Progress, anyone?

I really do hope this person is pulling our legs.